This colorful 19th century hand painted cross from Queretaro represents the 'Cruz de Animas;' or 'Cross of Souls', a reference to the ten purgatorial souls pleading for salvation. These purgatorial souls, or 'Anima Sola' (Lonesome Soul) may be invoked when a family member or loved one dies in sin or conversely, to send an enemy to a state of temporary suffering or misery in purgatory. In Mexico it is believed that sins could be forgiven in life but after death a sinner's soul must be purified and his or her debt must be repaid before the soul can pass to heaven. Condemned to a determinate punishment, purgatory is where these lonesome souls are sent to recompense for their mortal sins.
Carved and polychrome painted wood. Queretaro. Circa 1880.
Dimensions: 18.5 inches high x 10 inches wide x 4 inches deep.
Condition notes: In overall excellent, original condition.
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